Somewhat to his credit, Paul Ryan decided that Thursday was as good a day as any to finally hold a press conference about the now-infamous “secret memo” penned by Trump toady Devin Nunes (possibly with some help from the White House itself), since it seems to be all Republicans can talk about.
The memo, GOP Congressmen claim, would show that the FBI was acting improperly in obtaining a FISA warrant to wiretap former Trump adviser Carter Page, as they apparently suspected him of being a Russian operative. That’s an interesting stance for Republicans to take, since Team Trump already had one confirmed Russian operative — George Papadopoulos — who has pleaded guilty already, and it seems like admitting there was another member of the team who was at least suspected of it moves everything from the “coincidence” column directly into the “conspiracy” column.
But hey, that’s none of my business — if Republicans want to prove the case against Trump themselves, so be it. I personally was more interested in the way Ryan tried to shift the narrative from the transparent way the GOP is trying to undermine the intelligence community to protect Trump, to some kind of self-appointed oversight of the executive branch to “safeguard” American citizens’ civil liberties.
And what struck reporters present was the kind of swing Republicans have taken from being unquestioning loyalists to law enforcement, to suspecting America’s premier law enforcement agency of wrongdoing. In fact, one reporter phrased it essentially exactly that way:
Republicans are traditionally the party of law and order. You have an FBI director saying ‘please don’t release this memo, it is misleading, it is incomplete.’ He was appointed by a Republican president. Doesn’t that give you pause?”
Rep. Ryan, of course, launches into a big spiel about making sure everything’s done the “right” way and continues directly into the Republican talking points. But that’s the exchange that should serve as a snapshot for how the GOP has handled this entire investigation — all of their positions have changed entirely every time some person or agency they thought was going to be on “their side” in all this has chosen instead to pursue actual justice, instead of the obstruction of it.
Watch the video here:
Featured image via Mark Wilson/Getty Images